Jakub Józef Orliński, countertenor. New album: "Facce d'amore"

Jakub Józef Orliński, countertenor. New album: "Facce d'amore"
Jakub Józef Orliński, countertenor. New album: "Facce d'amore", Erato/Warner Classics, November 2019

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Sofia Gubaidulina: Fachwerk for bayan, percussion and string orchestra – Geir Draugsvoll, Hans-Kristian Kjos Sørensen, Norwegian Chamber Orchestra,Terje Tønnesen (HD 1080p)

Under the baton of the Norwegian violinist and artistic leader Terje Tønnesen, the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra with the Norwegian Geir Draugsvoll – one of the most important musicians on his instrument, the bayan – and the award-winning Norwegian percussionist and cimbalist Hans-Kristian Kjos Sørensen perform Sofia Gubaidulina's Fachwerk for bayan, percussion and string orchestra. Recorded at University Aula, Oslo, on November 12, 2013.

The bayan is a Russian accordion with a distinctively Eastern European timbre that Gubaidulina has featured in several of her works. Her idiomatic writing for the instrument exploits its coloristic and expressive range as both a melodic and harmonic instrument. In Fachwerk for bayan, percussion, and strings, she uses the percussion with great subtlety as a member of the accompanying forces to provide color and a rhythmic and dynamic foundation for the strings, rather than falling into the temptation of exploiting its potential for taking center stage. The piece doesn't feel quite like a concerto because the bayan is so thoroughly integrated into the orchestral textures. Gubaidulina has a gift for creating memorable colors that serve as structural element and that gives her music much of it character. Fachwerk has a largely contemplative tone, but toward the end it begins to build to a trmendous climax.

Source: Stephen Eddins (allmusic.com)

Sofia Gubaidulina (b. 1931)

♪ Fachwerk for bayan, percussion and string orchestra (2009)

Geir Draugsvoll, bayan
Hans-Kristian Kjos Sørensen, percussion

Norwegian Chamber Orchestra
Conductor: Terje Tønnesen

University Aula, Oslo, November 12, 2013

(HD 1080p)

Photo © Japan Art Association, The Sankei Shimbun
Sofia Gubaidulina was born in Chistopol in the Tatar Republic of the Soviet Union in 1931. After instruction in piano and composition at the Kazan Conservatory, she studied composition with Nikolai Peiko at the Moscow Conservatory, pursuing graduate studies there under Vissarion Shebalin. Until 1992, she lived in Moscow. Since then, she has made her primary residence in Germany, outside Hamburg.

Gubaidulina's compositional interests have been stimulated by the tactile exploration and improvisation with rare Russian, Caucasian, and Asian folk and ritual instruments collected by the "Astreia" ensemble, of which she was a co-founder, by the rapid absorption and personalization of contemporary Western musical techniques (a characteristic, too, of other Soviet composers of the post-Stalin generation including Edison Denisov and Alfred Schnittke), and by a deep-rooted belief in the mystical properties of music.

Her uncompromising dedication to a singular vision did not endear her to the Soviet musical establishment, but her music was championed in Russia by a number of devoted performers including Vladimir Tonkha, Friedrich Lips, Mark Pekarsky, and Valery Popov. The determined advocacy of Gidon Kremer, dedicatee of Gubaidulina's masterly violin concerto, Offertorium, helped bring the composer to international attention in the early 1980s. Gubaidulina is the author of symphonic and choral works, two cello concerti, a viola concerto, four string quartets, a string trio, works for percussion ensemble, and many works for nonstandard instruments and distinctive combinations of instruments. Her scores frequently explore unconventional techniques of sound production.

Since 1985, when she was first allowed to travel to the West, Gubaidulina's stature in the world of contemporary music has skyrocketed. She has been the recipient of prestigious commissions from the Berlin, Helsinki, and Holland Festivals, the Library of Congress, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and many other organizations and ensembles. A major triumph was the premiere in 2002 of the monumental two-part cycle, Passion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ according to St John, commissioned respectively by the International Bachakademie Stuttgart and the Norddeutschen Rundfunk, Hamburg.

Gubaidulina made her first visit to North America in 1987 as a guest of Louisville's "Sound Celebration." She has returned many times since as a featured composer of festivals – Boston's "Making Music Together" (1988), Vancouver's "New Music" (1991), Tanglewood (1997), Marlboro (2016) – and for other performance milestones. In May 2011, she was feted on the occasion of her 80th birthday in concerts presented by the California Institute of the Arts and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. From the retrospective concert by Continuum (New York, 1989) to the world premieres of commissioned works – Pro et Contra by the Louisville Orchestra (1989), String Quartet No.4 by the Kronos Quartet (New York, 1994), Dancer on a Tightrope by Robert Mann and Ursula Oppens (Washington, DC, 1994), the Viola Concerto by Yuri Bashmet with the Chicago Symphony conducted by Kent Nagano (1997), Two Paths ("A Dedication to Mary and Martha") for two solo violas and orchestra, by the New York Philharmonic conducted by Kurt Masur (1999), Light of the End by the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Masur (2003), and Pilgrims for violin, double bass, piano and two percussionists (2015) by Chicago's Contempo Ensemble – the accolades of American critics have been ecstatic.

In January 2007, Gubaidulina was the first woman composer to be spotlighted by the BBC during its annual "composer weekend" in London. Among her most recent compositions are Feast During a Plague (2005), jointly commissioned by the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra – and conducted in Philadelphia by Sir Simon Rattle and in Pittsburgh and New York by Sir Andrew Davis – In Tempus Praesens, a violin concerto unveiled at the 2007 Lucerne Festival by Anne-Sophie Mutter with the Berlin Philharmonic under the baton of Rattle, and Glorious Percussion, a concerto for five solo percussionists and orchestra premiered in 2008 by Gustavo Dudamel and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.

Gubaidulina is a member of the Akademie der Künste in Berlin, the Royal Music Academy in Stockholm and of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecila in Rome. She has been the recipient of the Prix de Monaco (1987), the Premio Franco Abbiato (1991), the Heidelberger Künstlerinnenpreis (1991), the Russian State Prize (1992), and the SpohrPreis (1995). Recent awards include the prestigious Praemium Imperiale in Japan (1998), the Sonning Prize in Denmark (1999), the Polar Music Prize in Sweden (2002), the Living Composer Prize of the Cannes Classical Awards (2003), the Great Distinguished Service Cross of the Order of Merit with Star of the Federal Republic of Germany (2009), the "Golden Lion" for Lifetime Achievement of the Venice Bieniale (2013), and the Prix de l'Académie Royale de Belgique (2014). In 2005, she was elected as a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She is the recipient of honorary doctorates from Yale University (2009) and the University of Chicago (2011).

Her music is now generously represented on compact disc, and Gubaidulina has been honored twice with the coveted Koussevitzky International Recording Award. Major releases have appeared on the DG, Chandos, Philips, Sony Classical, BIS, Berlin Classics and Naxos labels.

Source: musicsalesclassical.com

Since its formation in 1977 the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra has established itself as one of the foremost chamber orchestras on the international classical music scene today. Renowned for its innovative programming and creativity, the NCO is a project orchestra comprised of Norway's finest instrumentalists. Through integrating experienced musicians with talented young instrumentalists, the Orchestra continuously develops its unique style and innovative culture, thereby greatly contributing to the position Norwegian musicians and ensembles hold internationally.

The artistic directors and guest leaders throughout its history have been Iona Brown, Leif Ove Andsnes, Isabelle van Keulen, Martin Fröst, François Leleux and Steven Isserlis together with our current artistic director Terje Tønnesen who has held this role since the orchestra's formation.

The Orchestra's international tours to Europe, Asia and North America have received outstanding reviews at many of the world's prestigious concert halls and festivals. With nearly 40 recordings to date, the NCO has recorded comprehensive chamber orchestra repertoire with distinguished soloists, including Leif Ove Andsnes, Terje Tønnesen, Iona Brown, Truls Mørk, Lars Anders Tomter and Tine Thing Helseth. Highlights include the Norwegian award "Spellemannpris" winning recordings of Grieg and Nielsen works and Haydn piano concertos with Leif Ove Andsnes.

The Orchestra draws on an enviable roster of Norwegian and international soloists and has always been dedicated to presenting contemporary music as part of its concert repertoire.

The NCO currently presents its own concert series at the University Aula in Oslo and performs in major concert venues in Norway.

Between 2011 and 2016, the NCO served as the resident chamber orchestra at the Risør Chamber Music Festival.

Source: kammerorkesteret.no/nco

Terje Tønnesen is one of Norway's most revered musicians, with a career spanning over forty years of music-making as violinist and artistic leader. Praised by public and press alike for his virtuosity and artistic individualism, Terje Tønnensen has established a firm place in the Nordic classical music scene through his position as Artistic Director of the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra and concertmaster of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. He held the same position with the Camerata Nordica in Sweden for two decades until 2016.

After his critically acclaimed debut in 1972 which Norway's major newspaper called "a dazzling debut without any parallel", he furthered his studies with Max Rostal in Switzerland. In 1977, he was appointed Artistic Director to the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, a position he shared with Iona Brown in 1981-2002. Tønnesen has also maintained a distinguished career as a soloist by making regular appearances with major orchestras in Scandinavian countries as well as making extensive tours to various parts of Europe, USA, China and Russia.

His recordings as the orchestra's leader have received considerable critical acclaim and have received awards including the Spellemann Prize. Tønnesen has also done a number of recordings as soloist and chamber musician, and recorded several works commissioned for him.

In recent years Tønnesen has composed music for several theatre productions and devoted his time to arranging various chamber and orchestral works. A passionate advocate for finding new ways of presenting classical music, Tønnesen has collaborated with colleagues from across various art forms, including American stage director Bud Beyer and choreographer Ingun Bjørnsgaard.

Terje Tønnesen has won several international awards and recognition such as the Grieg Prize and Lindeman Prize. In September 2015, Terje Tønnesen was appointed Knight First Class of the Royal Norwegian Order of St Olav. He performs on a 1756 Guadagnini lent to him by Dextra Musica, Sparebankstiftelsen.

Source: kammerorkesteret.no/tonnesen

More photos

See also

Sofia Gubaidulina – All the posts

Sofia Gubaidulina: Offertorium – Vadim Repin, State Academic Symphony Orchestra "Evgeny Svetlanov", Vladimir Jurowski

Sofia Gubaidulina: Sonata for double bass and piano – Daniele Roccato, Fabrizio Ottaviucci (HD 1080p)

Sofia Gubaidulina: Et Exspecto – José Valente (HD 1080p)

Sofia Gubaidulina: De Profundis – José Valente (HD 1080p)

Sofia Gubaidulina: The Canticle of the Sun – Gal Faganel, Slovenian Chamber Choir, Kaspars Putninš (HD 1080p)

Sofia Gubaidulina: Sieben Worte for cello, bayan and strings – Jean-Guihen Queyras, Geir Draugsvoll, Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Per Kristian Skalstad (HD 1080p)

Pēteris Vasks: Violin Concerto "Distant Light" – Anthony Marwood, Norwegian Chamber Orchestra (HD 1080p)

Thomas Larcher: Ouroboros for violoncello and orchestra – Jean-Guihen Queyras, Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Per Kristian Skalstad (HD 1080p)

Arnold Schoenberg: Verklärte Nacht, for string orchestra – Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Terje Tønnesen

Richard Strauss: Metamorphosen for 23 solo strings – Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Terje Tønnesen (HD 1080p)

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Thomas Larcher: Ouroboros for violoncello and orchestra – Jean-Guihen Queyras, Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Per Kristian Skalstad (HD 1080p)

Under the baton of the Norwegian conductor Per Kristian Skalstad, the French cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras and the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra perform Thomas Larcher's Ouroboros for violoncello and orchestra. Recorded at Sentralen, Oslo, on September 13, 2016.

The work "Ouroboros for violoncello and orchestra" was named after the ancient Greek symbol, the Ouroboros, which Larcher came across while reading about Brahms’ symphonies. A series of repeated motifs give the music a sense of circularity as the ideas progress and then return to the original motif.

Written to be played with or without a conductor, the rhythmically complex textures of the work require the orchestra to listen and play as a much smaller ensemble. The solo cello is an initiator of processes more than a virtuosic centrepiece. Ouroboros is constructed in three movements, the second of which is an extended cadenza for the solo cello and piano.

Source: schott-music.com

Thomas Larcher (b. 1963)

♪ Ouroboros for violoncello and orchestra (2015)

i. Allegro
ii. Allegro infuriato
iii. Adagio – Allegro

Jean-Guihen Queyras, cello

Norwegian Chamber Orchestra
Conductor: Per Kristian Skalstad

Sentralen, Oslo, September 13, 2016

(HD 1080p)

Photo by Richard Haughton
"I love to write for individual players and singers. I love working with people who are going to play my music. Knowing what kind of music they like and what they can do has never been something that gives me boundaries – on the contrary, it is something that forces me to stretch myself and give each artist a piece which fills out their possibilities. This is also in an emotional sense – how they see the world." — Thomas Larcher

Thomas Larcher stands out as one of the most imaginative voices in classical music today. Born in Innsbruck in 1963, Larcher grew up in Austrian Tyrol and studied composition and piano in Vienna. Today he is celebrated internationally as a composer, pianist and programmer. His music is inventive and captivating, as he combines contemplative harmonies with extended performance techniques – at once experimental and responsive to tradition.

In 1994 Larcher founded the festival "Klangspuren", now an international renowned festival for contemporary music. He stepped down in 2003 to establish the Swarowski "Music im Riesen" festival in Wattens, Austria, which he still runs, a gathering of the best international chamber musicians in May each year.

Larcher's early works are characterized by his preoccupation with the piano and its tonal qualities. He established new benchmarks in piano literature with compositions such as Naunz for piano solo (1989), Kraken for violin, cello and piano (1994/5) , Mumien for cello and piano (2001). A series of string quartets Cold Farmer (1999), Ixxu (1998-2004) and Madhares (2006/7) continued his path of exploration, absorbing and crossing stylistic boundaries, "wandering freely among musical traditions". The quartets contain highly original sounds, often derived from extended string playing techniques.

Larcher began using the colourful timbres of the orchestra, starting with his solo concertos Still (2002) for viola and orchestra, Böse Zellen for piano and chamber orchestra (2006) and the Violin Concerto (2008) written for Isabelle Faust.

His first large orchestral score, written for the San Francisco Symphony in 2011 and conducted by Osmo Vanska, was Red and Green, a pair of movements with contrasting tonal colouring. Critic Stephen Smoliar commented "The result is a highly unique listening experience with a perfectly valid aesthetic of beauty... my only regret was having but one opportunity to experience this stunning music". Later that year, the Double Concerto for violin and cello was commissioned and premiered at the BBC Proms with Viktoria Mullova and Matthew Barley under the direction of  Ilan Volkov, for which Larcher was awarded the International category of the British Music Awards 2012.

Larcher's skill in writing for  the voice is evident in his astonishing and highly original works for ensemble and orchestra including My Illness is the Medicine I Need (2002) for soprano and piano trio, a much performed work that has recently been arranged by the composer in a version for chamber orchestra, Heute (2005) for soprano and orchestra, and  Die Nacht der Verlorenen (2008) for Matthias Goerne and the London Sinfonietta.

In 2014, A Padmore Cycle, originally for tenor and prepared piano, was recomposed as an orchestral score with voice and was premiered by the BBCSO under Edward Gardner in November 2014. It is scheduled for performance with the Bayersicher Rundfunk in Munich next season, conducted by Mariss Jansons. Tim Ashley in the Guardian wrote, "Larcher's writing fits Padmore's voice like a glove, erasing its register breaks, showcasing its purity of sound and flexibility".

A work for baritone and orchestra, Alle Tage, was premiered in 2015 by Matthias Goerne with Jaap van Zweden and the Netherlands Radio Orchestra at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, and co-commissioned by Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and NSO Washington.

A new string quartet Lucid Dreams was commissioned the Belcea Quartet's 20th anniversary season in 2015 with performances in London, Vienna, Luxembourg, Berlin and Grenoble, while Ouroboros commissioned for cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras and chamber orchestra was premiered with multiple performances in Amsterdam, Lausanne, Munich, Vienna,  Oslo, Orebro and Hong Kong.

Thomas Larcher was commissioned by Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra to write a new orchestra; score – Symphony No.2 Kenotaph. Semyon Bychkov conducted the world premiere at the Musikverein in June 2016, and  the BBC Proms presented the UK premiere in August 2016. Premieres in Germany and Holland followed in Autumn 2017 – DSO Berlin with Robin Ticciati Munich Philharmonic and Semyon Bychkov, and Netherlands Philharmonic with Markus Stenz. New York Philharmonic gives the US premiere in April 2019.

Larcher has been Composer in Residence at the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Mozarteum Orchester, Wigmore Hall, and many festivals including Davos, Heimbach,  Risör, Mondsee and Bantry. In 2015 he received the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's Elise L. Stoeger Prize 2014/15 awarded every two years in recognition of significant contributions to the field of chamber music composition.

ECM has recorded three discs of Larcher's works, establishing his distinctive voice: Naunz (2001) was nominated "editor's choice" by Gramophone; Ixxu (2006) received the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik; and Madhares (2010). What Becomes with Mark Padmore and Tamara Stefanovich was released on Harmonia Mundi in 2014. His recordings have been awarded several international prizes, including the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik, the Choc de la musique and the Diapason d'Or.

Larcher is highly regarded as a pianist; his repertoire is broad, ranging from his Schubert/Schönberg CD with ECM to accompanying Mark Padmore in Schubert's Schwanengesang. Through thoughtful programming that reveals links, contrasts and comparisons, he has a special ability to cast new light on the established repertoire whilst  his performances of the music of our time are particularly illuminating.

In recent years Larcher has begun conducting, working with orchestras such as Munich Chamber Orchestra, Mozarteum Orchester,  Netherlands Radio Kamerfilharmonie and with soloists including Isabelle Faust and Igor Levit.

A new orchestral score, Chiasma, for Andris Nelsons and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra will be premiered in March 2018. Larcher is currently working on his first opera for Bregenz in summer 2018, The Hunting Gun.

Source: thomaslarcher.com

More photos

See also

Sofia Gubaidulina: Sieben Worte for cello, bayan and strings – Jean-Guihen Queyras, Geir Draugsvoll, Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Per Kristian Skalstad (HD 1080p)

Pēteris Vasks: Violin Concerto "Distant Light" – Anthony Marwood, Norwegian Chamber Orchestra (HD 1080p)

Sofia Gubaidulina: Fachwerk for bayan, percussion and string orchestra – Geir Draugsvoll, Hans-Kristian Kjos Sørensen, Norwegian Chamber Orchestra,Terje Tønnesen (HD 1080p)

Arnold Schoenberg: Verklärte Nacht, for string orchestra – Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Terje Tønnesen

Richard Strauss: Metamorphosen for 23 solo strings – Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Terje Tønnesen (HD 1080p)

Monday, June 25, 2018

Gustav Mahler: Symphony No.3 in D minor – Anna Larsson, Women's Voices of the Gothenburg Symphony Chorus, Brunnsbo Children's Choir, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Kent Nagano (HD 1080p)

Under the baton of the famous American conductor Kent Nagano, the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, the Women's Voices of the Gothenburg Symphony Chorus, the Brunnsbo Children's Choir and the Swedish contralto Anna Larsson perform Gustav Mahler's Symphony No.3 in D minor. Recorded at Gothenburg Concert Hall, on May 19, 2018.

The Third is Gustav Mahler's longest Symphony, in six movements and lasting nearly two hours. Mahler's concept of the symphony as a world unto itself finds its complete exposition here in the highly diverse styles and elements, creating problems of continuity and coherence that he did not completely solve. The primary theme of the Third is Nature and Man's place therein, and its principal literary inspirations are Das Knaben Wunderhorn (as in the previous symphony) and Nietzsche. As in the Second Symphony, Mahler added words and voices to expand his means of expression and used material from one of his earlier Wunderhorn Songs. The original program ran like this: "The Joyful Knowledge: A Summer Morning's Dream". I. Pan Awakes: Summer Marches In; II. What the Meadow Flowers Tell Me; III. What the Creatures of the Forest Tell Me; IV. What Night Tells Me (Mankind); V. What the Morning Bells Tell Me (the Angels); VI. What Love Tells Me; and VII. The Heavenly Life (What the Child Tells Me). Ultimately, Mahler dropped the seventh movement and used it as the core around which he built the Fourth Symphony. The sum of this program represents Mahler's cosmological hierarchy at this point in his life and the Third Symphony as a whole is his most specific example of "world building" in artistic terms.

Kräftig. Entschieden. (Strongly and Confidently). This is the single longest sonata-form movement ever written. Mahler sets bizarre, primordial, and harsh brass and percussion rumblings depicting Pan's awakening in opposition to pastoral music of bird calls and light fanfares over tremulous strings and woodwind trillings. These elements are transformed into the ultimate example of Mahler's symphonic military marches. The entire movement covers a vast soundscape of imagery, from bold, assertive proclamation to harsh and grotesque fugal passages, to despairing outcries, to a lighthearted and popular sounding march tune.

Tempo di Menuetto. (Minuet Tempo). This is a light and folk-like dance movement in the style of the comic Wunderhorn Songs. It stands in sharp contrast to the weighty first movement.

Comodo. Scherzando. Ohne Hast. (Moving, Scherzo-like, Without Haste). This movement quotes extensively from Mahler's song Ablösung im Sommer (Relief in the Summer) about a dead cuckoo. Its comic vein is interrupted twice, once by a sentimental posthorn solo, and later by a dramatic outburst symbolic of the great god Pan's intrusion into the peaceful summer.

Sehr langsam. Misterioso. Durchaus ppp. (Very Slow, Mysterious, Pianissimo Throughout). Here Mahler moves into a more metaphysical realm by setting Nietzsche's "Midnight Song" in this slow and haunting movement.

Lustig im Tempo und keck im Ausdruck. (Happy in Tempo, Saucily Bold in Expression). Boys and women's voices are used here to sing this angel's song about the redemption of sin from Das Knaben Wunderhorn. Mahler imitates church bells to delightful effect in this innocent and uplifting movement.

Langsam. Ruhevoll. Empfunden. (Slow, Peaceful, Deeply Felt). A majestic and awesome Adagio concludes the Symphony in a hymn-like paean on love. It rises to a powerful climax as "Nature in its totality rings and resounds".

Source: Steven Coburn (allmusic.com)

Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)

♪ Symphony No.3 in D minor (1893-1896)

i. Kräftig. Entschieden (Pan Awakes, Summer Marches In)
ii. Tempo di Menuetto, sehr mäßig (What the Flowers in the Meadow Tell Me)
iii. Comodo. Scherzando. Ohne Hast (What the Animals in the Forest Tell Me)
iv. Sehr langsam. Misterioso (What Man Tells Me)
v. Lustig im Tempo und keck im Ausdruck (What Man Tells Me)
vi. Langsam. Ruhevoll. Empfunden (What Love Tells Me)

Anna Larsson, mezzo-soprano

Women's Voices of the Gothenburg Symphony Chorus
Choirmaster: Alexander Einarsson / Mats Nilsson

Brunnsbo Children's Choir
Choirmaster: Patrik Wirefeldt

Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
Concertmaster: Sara Trobäck

Conductor: Kent Nagano

Gothenburg Concert Hall, May 19, 2018

(HD 1080p)

Kent Nagano is renowned for interpretations of clarity, elegance and intelligence. He is equally at home in music of the classical, romantic and contemporary eras, introducing concert and opera audiences throughout the world to new and rediscovered music and offering fresh insights into established repertoire. Since September 2006 he has been Music Director of Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and became Artistic Advisor and Principal Guest Conductor of Gothenburg Symphony in 2013. In September 2015, Kent Nagano takes up the position of General Music Director of the Hamburg State Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra. At the Hamburg State Opera he will start his first season with the premiere of Berlioz Les Troyens, the world premiere of Toshio Hosokawas Stilles Meer and also Messiaen's Turangalîla-Symphonie choreographed by John Neumeier.

At the Bayerische Staatsoper, where he was General Music Director from 2006-2013, he commissioned new operas from Jörg Widmann Babylon, Wolfgang Rihm Das Gehege and Unsuk Chin Alice in Wonderland and new productions there have included Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov and Khovanshchina, Idomeneo, Eugene Onegin, Ariadne auf Naxos, Die Schweigsame Frau, Les Dialogues des Carmélites, St François d'Assise, Wozzeck, George Benjamin's Written on Skin and Der Ring des Nibelungen. With the Bayerisches Staatsorchester Nagano has toured throughout Europe and in Japan and together they have recorded Bruckner Symphonies Nos. 4, 7 and 8.

In September 2011, Kent Nagano and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal inaugurated their new concert hall La Maison Symphonique. Highlights with the Orchestra include the complete cycles of Beethoven and Mahler symphonies, Schoenberg's Gurrelieder, concert versions of Wagner's Tannhäuser, Tristan und Isolde, Das Rheingold, Honegger's Jeanne d'Arc au Bûcher, Messiaen's Saint François d'Assise, and concert series featuring the works of Dutilleux (2010-2011) and Boulez (2011-2012). Nagano has taken the Orchestra on a coast-to-coast tour of Canada and also to Japan, South Korea, Europe and South America. Their recordings together include the Juno award winning album "Ideals of the French Revolution" with Beethoven's Symphony No.5, Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde and Beethoven's Piano Concertos Nos. 4 and 5, as part of a recording of all the Symphonies by Beethoven. The Symphonies Nos. 3, 6, 8 and 9 have also been released by Sony Classical/Analekta.

As a much sought after guest conductor, Nagano has worked with most of the world's finest orchestras including the Vienna, Berlin and New York Philharmonics, Chicago Symphony, Dresden Staatskapelle and Leipzig Gewandhaus. He has an ongoing relationship with Sony Classical and has also recorded for Erato, Teldec, Pentatone and Deutsche Grammophon as well as Harmonia Mundi, winning Grammy awards for his recordings of Busoni's Doktor Faust with Opéra National de Lyon, Peter and the Wolf with the Russian National Orchestra and Saariaho's L'amour de Loin with the Deutsches Symphonieorchester Berlin.

A very important period in Nagano's career was his time as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, from 2000-2006. He performed Schönberg's Moses und Aron with the Orchestra (in collaboration with Los Angeles Opera), and took them to the Salzburg Festival to perform both Zemlinsky's Der König Kandaules and Schreker's Die Gezeichneten, as well as to the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden with Parsifal and Lohengrin in productions by Nikolaus Lehnhoff. Recordings with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin for Harmonia Mundi include repertoire as diverse as Bernstein's Mass, Bruckner's Symphonies Nos. 3 and 6, Beethoven's Christus am Ölberge, Wolf Lieder, Mahler's Symphony No.8 and Schönberg's Die Jakobsleiter and Friede auf Erden, as well as Brahms's Symphony No.4 and Schönberg's Variationen für Orchester Op.31. In June 2006, at the end of his tenure with the Orchestra, Kent Nagano was given the title Honorary Conductor by members of the orchestra, only the second recipient of this honour in their 60-year history.

Kent Nagano became the first Music Director of Los Angeles Opera in 2003 having already held the position of Principal Conductor for two years. His work in other opera houses has included Shostakovich's The Nose (Staatsoper Berlin), Rimsky Korsakov's The Golden Cockerel (Châtelet, Paris), Hindemith's Cardillac (Opéra national de Paris), Dialogues des Carmélites (Metropolitan Opera) and at the Salzburg Festival Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Zemlinsky's Der Koenig Kandaules, Schreker's Die Gezeichneten and the world premiere of Saariaho's L'amour de loin. Other world premieres include Bernstein's A White House Cantata and operas by Peter Eötvös (Three Sisters), and John Adams (The Death of Klinghoffer and El Niño).

Born in 1951 in California, Nagano maintains close connections with his home state and was Music Director of the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra from 1978-2008. His early professional years were spent in Boston, working in the opera house and as assistant conductor to Seiji Ozawa at the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He played a key role in the world premiere of Messiaen's opera Saint François d'Assise at the request of the composer, who became a mentor and bequeathed his piano to the conductor. Nagano's success in America led to European appointments: Music Director of Opéra National de Lyon (1988-1998) and Music Director of the Hallé Orchestra (1991-2000).

Source: kentnagano.com

More photos

See also

Jean Sibelius: Violin Concerto in D minor – Ray Chen, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Kent Nagano

Felix Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E minor – Ray Chen, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Kent Nagano

Modest Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition – Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Kent Nagano (HD 1080p)

Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra – All the posts

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Lucas Debargue plays Domenico Scarlatti, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Maurice Ravel, Franz Liszt, Erik Satie and Frédéric Chopin – Grange de Meslay, 2016 (HD 1080p)

Rising French pianist Lucas Debargue performs four sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Piano Sonata No.8 in A minor, Maurice Ravel's three-part suite Gaspard de la nuit, Franz Liszt's Mephisto Waltz No.1, Erik Satie's Gnossienne No.1, and Frédéric Chopin's Grande valse brillante in E flat major. Recorded at the Grange de Meslay, Fêtes Musicales en Touraine on June 26, 2016.

There hasn't been a foreign pianist who has caused such a stir since Glenn Gould's arrival in Moscow in the midst of the Cold War, or Van Cliburn's victory at the Tchaikovsky Competition. — Olivier Bellamy, Le Huffington Post

French pianist Lucas Debargue was discovered through his performances at the 15th International Tchaikovsky Competition held in Moscow in year 2015. Although placing only fourth in the final round, he was the only musician across all disciplines who was awarded with the coveted Moscow Music Critic's Prize as a pianist who's "incredible gift, artistic vision, and creative freedom have impressed the critics as well as the audience".

Straight after this incredible breakthrough Lucas Debargue was invited to play solo and with leading orchestras in the most prestigious concert halls of the world: the Grand Hall of Tchaikovsky Conservatory and the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow; Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall and St Petersburg Philharmonic Hall; Theatre des Champs Elysées, Salle Gaveau and Paris Philharmonic; Conservatory of Milan; Wigmore Hall and Royal Festival Hall in London; Amsterdam's Concertgebouw; Prinzregententheater in Munich and the Berlin Philharmonic Hall; Konserthuset in Stockholm; Carnegie Hall in New York and further prestigious concert halls in Tokyo, Osaka, Chicago, Montréal, Toronto, Seattle, Mexico, Beijing, Taipei, Shanghai, Seoul...

He also collaborates with such famous conductors as Valery Gergiev, Andrey Boreyko, Mikhail Pletnev, Vladimir Spivakov, Yutaka Sado, Tugan Sokhiev and he also appears regularly in chamber music ensembles with Gidon Kremer, Janine Jansen and Martin Fröst.

Lucas Debargue was born in 1990. His path to becoming a pianist was all but conventional: he began studying piano when he was 11 but soon switched to literature and graduated from Paris Diderot University with a Bachelor's Art Degree. Although focusing on literature, he also took time to work his way through a large part of the core piano repertoire during his younger years.

He began his professional piano training only after he had turned 20 years old. This came about after a meeting with the celebrated piano teacher Rena Shereshevskaya, who offered him the opportunity to join her class at the École Normale de Musique de Paris "Alfred Cortot" in 2011. This decision committed him to a musical path. In 2014 he won the 1st prize at the 9th Gaillard International Piano Competition (France) before becoming one of the prize winners at the 15th Tchaikovsky Competition. In April 2016 he obtained a "Diplôme Supérieur de Concertiste" and a Special Cortot Prize from the Cortot School. He currently continues to work with Rena Shereshevskaya at the postgraduate level of the same school.

A performer of fierce integrity and dazzling communicative power, Lucas Debargue draws inspiration from literature, painting, cinema and jazz and develops very personal interpretation of a carefully selected repertoire. Though the core piano repertoire is central in his career, Lucas Debargue is also known to present works by lesser-known composers such as Nikolai Medtner, Nikolai Roslavets or Milosz Magin. He also composes and performs his own music: a concertino for piano, percussions and string orchestra with Kremerata Baltica was premiered June 2017 in Cēsis, Latvia and a piano trio was performed in September 2017 at the Paris Fondation Louis Vuitton.

Lucas Debargue's record label is Sony Classical and he has already released three solo albums – "Scarlatti, Chopin, Liszt, Ravel" (2016); "Bach, Beethoven, Medtner" (2016) and "Schubert & Szymanowski" (2017). In 2017 he was awarded the prestigious German music prize "ECHO Klassik".

He has also been the subject of a documentary "Lucas Debargue: To Music", directed by Martin Mirabel and produced by Bel Air Media. The movie follows the pianist in the aftermath of his success at the Tchaikovsky Competition and was released in the autumn 2017.

Source: lucasdebargue.com

Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)

♪ Sonata in A major, K.208, L.238 [1:15]*
 Sonata in A major, K.24, L.495 [5:15]
 Sonata in C major, K.132, L.457 [9:55]
♪ Sonata in D minor,  K.141, L.422 [14:34]

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

♪ Piano Sonata No.8 in A minor, K.310 (1778) [17:45]

i. Allegro maestoso
ii. Andante cantabile con espressione
iii. Presto

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)

♪ Gaspard de la nuit, M.55 (1908) [35:23]

i. Ondine
ii. Le Gibet
iii. Scarbo

Franz Liszt (1811-1886)

♪ Mephisto Waltz No.1, S.514 "Der Tanz in der Dorfschenke / The Dance in the Village Inn" (1860) [58:35]


Erik Satie (1866-1925)

♪ Gnossienne No.1 (1890) [1:10:24]

Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849)

♪ Grande valse brillante in E flat major, Op.18 (1833) [1:13:36]

Lucas Debargue, piano

Direction by François-René Martin

Grange de Meslay, Fêtes Musicales en Touraine, June 26, 2016

Uploaded on Youtube for the Blog "Faces of Classical Music"

(HD 1080p)

* Start time of each work

More photos

See also

Olivier Messiaen: Quatuor pour la fin du temps – Martin Fröst, Lucas Debargue, Janine Jansen, Torleif Thedéen (Download 96kHz/24bit & 44.1kHz/16bit)

Lucas Debargue plays Franz Schubert & Karol Szymanowski (Download 96kHz/24bit & 44.1kHz/16bit)

Maurice Ravel: Gaspard de la nuit – Lucas Debargue (HD 1080p)

Lucas Debargue plays Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven & Nikolai Medtner (Download 96kHz/16bit)

Lucas Debargue plays Scarlatti, Chopin, Liszt, Ravel, Grieg & Schubert (Download 44.1kHz/16bit)

Monday, June 18, 2018

Sergei Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet Suites – Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Mei-Ann Chen (HD 1080p)

Under the baton of the Taiwanese American conductor Mei-Ann Chen, the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra performs Sergei Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet Suites, Op.64a. Recorded at Gothenburg Concert Hall, on May 4, 2018.

Shakespeare's immortal drama inspired some of the most original and colourful music Prokofiev wrote in his career. It follows and comments the tragic love story with powerful orchestral explosions and sympathetic themes which seem to be aware of the characters' inner feelings and thoughts. When the music was edited into suites, the music conquered the world and since then belongs to the repertoire of great orchestral music.

Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953)

♪ Romeo and Juliet, Suite for orchestra, Op.64a No.1 (1936) [00:30]*

i. Folk Dance
ii. Scene
iii. Madrigal
iv. Minuet
v. Masks
vi. Balcony scene
vii. Death of Tybalt

♪ Romeo and Juliet, Suite for orchestra, Op.64a No.2 (1936) [32:40]

i. The Montagues and the Capulets
ii. Juliet - The Little Girl
iii. Friar Laurence
iv. Dance
v. Romeo and Juliet Before Parting
vi. Dance of the Maids from the Antilles
vii. Romeo at Juliet's Grave

Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Mei-Ann Chen

Gothenburg Concert Hall, May 4, 2018

(HD 1080p)

* Start time of each work

Suite No.1

Sergei Prokofiev extracted three orchestral suites and a set of ten piano transcriptions from his ballet masterpiece Romeo and Juliet (1935-1936). It was his practice to recycle music from his larger works, and he scored a number of successes doing so. The Second Suite from Romeo and Juliet, for example, has become the most popular offshoot and is more familiar than the ballet itself.

The First Suite has nearly attained that level of currency, as well, in the both concert hall and on record. Its seven numbers do not follow the chronology in the ballet and sometimes incorporate music from more than one section. This was typical of Prokofiev's method in his fairly literal transcriptions and suites, as he sought to create a composition with a somewhat different emotional center of gravity from the source work.

Structurally, each movement in the Suite No.1 is sounder than its more action-defined counterpart in the ballet. The opening movement is Folk Dance, derived from the first dance in the Second Act (No.22). The music here is festive and joyous, at times sounding ecstatic and as far removed from the work's ultimate tragedy as it could be. The orchestration is colorful, the rhythmic main theme catchy and danceable, and the overall effect invigorating. The second movement, Scene comes from No.3, The Street Awakens. The music here is jovial and features an air of nonchalance in its sparse but colorful orchestration. At about a minute-and-a-half, it is the shortest of the seven numbers here.

Madrigal is derived from the like-named No.16 in the First Act. The music here depicts the burgeoning love of Romeo for Juliet. Minuet is next, bringing the bright, celebratory music of No.11 from the ballet. A more festive and high-spirited mood would be hard to imagine.

Masques is the ensuing movement and corresponds to No.12 in the First Act. It is music that features an infectious theme, a simple but deftly-orchestrated rhythm, and thoroughly colorful writing throughout. Oddly, this movement sounds tamer in any orchestral version compared with the grittier piano rendering in the Ten Pieces from Romeo and Juliet. Up to this point, the selections in the Suite No.1 correspond closely with the order in the Ten Pieces, for piano: the first two and the fifth are the same, and the fourth here corresponds to the third in the piano version.

The sixth and seventh, however, like the third, have no actual counterpart in the piano version, even if some themes are shared. Romeo and Juliet, the penultimate movement here, relates mainly to No.21 in the First Act, Romeo and Juliet's love dance, but also incorporates music from No.19, Balcony Scene. Prokofiev made minor changes in the orchestration of this section, in the end distilling some of the most passionate and powerful music he ever wrote. This movement features the famous love theme, one of the two most popular melodies in the ballet, the other being the march-like theme that depicts the conflict between the Montagues and Capulets, which appears in the Second Suite.

The last movement, Death of Tybalt derives mainly from Nos. 33, Tybalt and Mercutio fight, and 35, Romeo avenges Mercutio's death. But, again, Prokofiev makes some changes in the orchestration that enhance the suspenseful, exhilarating music in the first half. The brassy, funereal music in the latter part is left essentially as it appears in the ballet.

A concert performance of this music lasts about a half-hour. Prokofiev published the score in 1938.

Source: Robert Cummings (allmusic.com)

Suite No.2

Frustrated by the delays in getting his full-length ballet Romeo and Juliet premiered – both the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow and the Kirov in Leningrad, which commissioned it, originally rejected it as "undanceable" – Prokofiev assembled two suites for concert use, adding a third some years later. The Second Suite is the one most often encountered; it was first performed in Leningrad in 1937.

The half-hour suite does not follow the action (which hews closely to Shakespeare); instead, it is a series of character pieces and scenes, almost a "greatest hits" collection drawn from the full work. The number-one hit leads off the suite: Montagues and Capulets. This begins with a gradually layered brass chord that results in a crushing dissonance soon resolved into soft string chords, all of which represents the conflict between Romeo's family and Juliet's. The sequence is repeated once, then goes straight into what in the full ballet is called Dance of the Knights; this is the heavy, snarling, angular march- like music to which the macho Capulet men dance at their masked ball. This contrasts with a delicate, somewhat unsettling minor-mode woodwind minuet for Juliet and her suitor, the young nobleman Paris. The knights' music returns, again exploiting the orchestra's lowest registers.

The Young Juliet, with its skittering string scales and playful use of woodwinds and light percussion, begins as a portrait of a squirmy teenager. A more tender clarinet theme represents Juliet's innocence. After a brief return of the opening material, broad, lyrical themes for the woodwinds and cello, and eventually the other strings, suggest the girl's budding emotional maturity. A slow, sensitive coda perhaps alludes to the tragedy in her immediate future. Friar Laurence is a plodding but sympathetic portrait of the man of the cloth who facilitates Romeo and Juliet's romance – and, inadvertently, their deaths. The man is represented by a solemn legato theme kept low in the orchestra.

Dance has nothing to do with the plot. It's a light, brilliant scherzo, something of a tarantella, with the ever-rising tune melting from one brass or woodwind instrument to another in mid-phrase. Romeo at Juliet's Before Parting opens with a wistful flute solo – the flute represents Juliet through much of the score. This is a slow, quiet, nocturnal segment that begins to open up with a short horn phrase that leads straight into the cadential chords associated with Romeo near the beginning of the full ballet. The music's ardor and instrumental thickness gradually increase, mingling the Romeo and Juliet material, then the ecstatic, yearning horn theme breaks out in full, topped off with the Romeo motif. This material repeats, fuller and louder, yet ultimately backs down into a long, mysterious passage that foreshadows the main theme from the tomb scene at the story's (and suite's) end.

Dance of the Antilles Girls is brief, quiet, and rather ritualistic, with another sinuous, upward-reaching melody that is passed among the orchestral soloists. Romeo at the Grave of Juliet is drawn from the ballet's concluding pages; it begins with a long, slow, anguished theme for the strings that is taken up briefly by the horns. The other brass instruments enter with their own slight variants. The earlier love music struggles forward, now in a minor mode, but is overpowered by the brass with the funereal material that opened the section. A delicate reminiscence in the woodwinds of the love music eases the suite to a quiet, resigned conclusion.

Source: James Reel (allmusic.com)

Praised for her dynamic, passionate conducting style, Taiwanese American conductor Mei-Ann Chen is acclaimed for infusing orchestras with energy, enthusiasm and high-level music-making, galvanizing audiences and communities alike. Appointed Music Director of the MacArthur Award-winning Chicago Sinfonietta in 2011 and as Artistic Director & Conductor for the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra Summer Festival since 2016 she is highly regarded as a compelling communicator and an innovative leader both on and off the podium. A sought-after guest conductor, she continues to expand her relationships with orchestras worldwide.

North American guesting credits include appearances with the Symphony Orchestras of Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Chicago, Detroit, Fort Worth, Houston, Indianapolis, National, Nashville, Oregon, Pacific, River Oaks Chamber, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver, to name a few. Overseas guest engagements include the symphonies of BBC Scottish, Denmark's National, Aalborg, Aarhus, and Odense, Sweden's Gavle, Gothenburg, Helsingborg, Malmo, and Norrkoping, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra at the Concertgebouw, Norwegian Radio and Trondheim Symphony, Finland's Tampere Philharmonic, Austria's Grosses Orchester Graz, Germany's Badische Staatskapelle Karlsruhe, Brazil's Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra and Minas Gerais Philharmonic, Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional de Mexico, and Taiwan Philharmonic, National Taiwan & Taipei Symphony Orchestras. Her U.S. summer music festival credits include Aspen, Grant Park, Grand Teton, Ravinia, Texas, and Wintergreen. Future engagements include debuts with Austria's Tonkunstler Orchester, Denmark's Copenhagen Philharmonic on a 7-city tour, Germany's Wurth Philharmonic, Netherlands Residentie Orkest, Norway's Oslo Philharmonic, Switzerland's Basel, Turkey's Bilkent, and return engagement highlights include Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for its Gala program with Lang Lang, and multiple return engagements to Austria's Recreation Grosses Orchester Graz and Sweden's Malmo Symphony Orchestra.

Recognized as someone who has redefined the orchestra experience, amongst Ms. Chen's honors and awards are being named one of the 2015 Top 30 Influencers by Musical America, (the bible of the performing arts industry); 2012 Helen M. Thompson Award from the League of American Orchestras; Winner, the 2007 Taki Concordia Fellowship; and First Prize Winner, the prestigious Malko Competition in 2005. Ms. Chen also is the recipient of several ASCAP awards for innovative programming during her tenure as the Music Director of Chicago Sinfonietta and Portland Youth Philharmonic in Oregon (2002-2007). Ms. Chen is also Conductor Laureate of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, having served as Music Director from 2010 to 2016.

Born in Taiwan in 1973, Mei-Ann Chen came to the United States to study violin in 1989 and became the first student in New England Conservatory's history to receive master's degrees simultaneously in both violin and conducting. She later studied with Kenneth Kiesler at the University of Michigan, where she earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting. Ms. Chen participated in the National Conductor Preview, National Conducting Institute, Aspen American Academy of Conducting, and Pierre Monteux School.

Source: meiannchen.com

More photos

See also

Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra – All the posts